Monday, September 14, 2009

Sunday drives are good for the soul.

After what felt like an eternity, Austin finally FINALLY got a couple of days of good, solid, soaking rain at the end of last week. It didn't do much to put a dent in our nearly 2-year long drought, but it did momentarily cool things down and dampen things up. However, by Sunday, BH, the Geej and I were all a little stir crazy from too much time being held captive indoors by the weather.

My bird-loving, wildlife biologist husband had told me a few days before that the lovely little hamlet of Johnson City had been having quite a problem with wild turkeys recently--lots of birds bugging the hell out of residents. At that time I informed him that, aside from a pet turkey named Elvira that had wandered around Camp Huawni one summer in the mid-1980s, I'd never seen wild turkeys, you know, doing their thing in the wild. Well this, coupled with the cabin fever, was reason enough for the three of us to pile in the Honda for a little road trip yesterday morning.

The skies were cloudy and it was in the low 70s. The landscape had already greened up a bit in a few short days, and the drive out of town and through the hills to the west was lovely.

Once we got there, we slowly drove around in some of the neighborhoods until--BINGO--a hen and three juvenile turkeys (called "poults"), hanging out in someone's front yard. Awesome. We continued driving around looking for more turkeys, and we encountered this little fella. He was just hanging out, staring at some goats in someone's side yard, and his cuteness nearly killed me. He's like a cross between a schnauzer and a dachsund. What a sweetie! A short while later we encountered an ass ton of turkeys in the common area of a little post-war apartment complex near a creek bottom lined with old oaks (which is apparently where turkeys like to hang out). Seriously, people! There were even more than this that I couldn't get in my shot. I'm not sure why I was so fascinated and delighted by this sight. I guess it's because when all you really see in your yard are mockingbirds, white wing dove, billions of stupid grackles and the occasional blue jay or cardinal, the thought of having a whole flock of this huge, strange birds on my lawn is sort of mind blowing.

We kept on driving around this adorable little town, where soon, I found my dream house.
And we marveled at the gorgeous grey skies with the occasional patch of bright blue peeking through. We wondered what it would be like to live on an old farm and be surrounded by nothing but nature for miles around.

And finally, before leaving town, we braved the after-church crowds to eat lunch at the local diner that specializes in good old home cookin' and features menus made of Xeroxed sheets of paper glued on to grocery bags.

All in all, a very nice way to spend a Sunday.


Badger said...

See, this is why I can never leave Texas. I know other states have their small towns and rural areas and whatnot -- hell, I grew up right in the middle of some in the midwest -- but they're just not the same.

Sinda said...

That sounds like a great day. I saw a bunch of deer yesterday in someone's yard at Mesa & Greystone - seemed totally random, but I guess they have deer problems up there.

My husband is a wildlife geek too - gotta love it.

Anonymous said...

I'm with you on the dream house. As I get older, I actually find myself fantasizing about leaving the city and heading out to some marginally affordable Central Texas small town to become the local eccentric. And then I remember how much I would hate being surrounded - once again - by Bible-thumping, Palin-loving, BBQ-chomping, homophoic, macho asswads.

I wish there was one small town in this state filled with sane people. Or at least a sane people majority.

I don't know your politics, so this is obviously potentially inflammatory, but... sometimes I think a bunch of us Austin types ought to find some small town that's about to die, move there, buy cute tin-roofed houses with big porches, and re-open the old movie theater. You know?

I am so over this traffic, and the fact that the very same house here would cost about $400,000.